A plastic surgeon in China has successfully grown an artificial ear on a man’s arm in a pioneering medical procedure.
The patient, surnamed Ji, lost his right ear in an accident and yearned to have it back, reports Huanqiu.com, an affiliation to People’s Daily.
Doctor Guo Shuzhong from a hospital in Xi’an, China’s Shaanxi Province, used Mr Ji’s cartilage from his ribs to build the new ear; and he expects to transplanted the organ to the man’s head in about four months.
According to the Huanqiu report, Mr Ji sustained serious injuries in the right side of his face in a traffic accident about a year ago. His right ear was torn from his face.
The man, whose age is not specified, has since received multiple surgical operations to restore his facial skin and his cheeks. However, he felt frustrated about losing his right ear for good.
The patient told a report from China News: ‘I lost one ear. I have always felt that I am not complete.’
Having sought medical advice from multiple sources, Ji realised that it was impossible to restore his ear through conventional medical procedures as a substantial part of his right ear had gone missing.
Upon hearing recommendations, Mr Ji went to see doctor Guo Shuzhong, who works at the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in the city of Xi’an.
Doctor Guo, a renowned plastic surgeon, conducted China’s first face transplant operation in 2006, according to China Daily.
After the initial check-ups, doctor Guo decided to carry out a three-step surgical procedure for Mr Ji.
In the first step, doctor Guo and his team embedded a skin expander under Mr Ji’s right forearm.
In the second step, they took the cartilage from Mr Ji’s ribs to fashion a new ear before planting the artificial organ in the patient’s right forearm.
In the third step, which is yet to be carried out, the doctors are set to move the fully grown ear from Mr Ji’s arm to his head using the vascular anastomosis techniques.
According to doctor Guo, the most difficult part of the procedure is the second step which had been applied on Mr Ji and was deemed a success.
The ear transplantation is expected to take place in three to four months when the artificial organ is fully grown.
Mr Ji told a reporter that the loss of his right ear had brought him inconvenience and that he wished to have a normal life after the surgery.